LOS ANGELES — Today, Los Angeles will host the largest 2015 National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event being held in the U.S. this year, powered by the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), LA Metro, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), nine major automakers, and non-profit organization Adopt-A-Charger. NDEW LA will be held at Exposition Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
National Drive Electric Week is a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the environmental, financial, and health benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, who will be attending the event, said today, “Electric vehicles and all of the benefits that they offer – fuel cost savings, greenhouse emissions reductions, and healthier air should be available to all Californians and all Americans. National Drive Electric Week shows just how far we’ve come toward that goal with private sector innovation and public investments. The future of clean transportation is bright,” said de León.
Joining de León in support of NDEW is Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune with his emphasis on the importance of EVs, “Los Angeles has a smog problem that isn’t just unsightly, it’s unhealthy, especially for low-income communities and communities of color that disproportionately face the devastating effects of dirty air. But the situation isn’t hopeless, as solutions like plug-in electric vehicles and rooftop solar are becoming more affordable and accessible by the day. Whether it’s the new car sharing program in LA or affordable electric vehicle and rooftop solar options, this community is accelerating toward a healthier clean energy future with less of the toxic emissions that make our families sick.”
Race car driver Leilani Munter will be speaking about her Tesla Model S that moves at racing speeds. Also featured will be the 200-mile range Chevy Bolt Concept Car and the 2016 Nissan Leaf, which will both make their West Coast debuts. The Leaf will be available for test drives. Also in attendance will be LA Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Film Director Chris Paine of “Revenge of the Electric Car,” and actress/environmentalist Alexandra Paul of “Bay Watch” fame.
In addition to official ceremonies starting at 1 p.m., there will be food trucks and EV purchase incentive information. Volunteers will coordinate free rides and test drives of the newest electric vehicles from manufacturers including, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen.
Numerous past attendees from around the country have purchased or leased plug-ins as a direct result of Drive Electric Week events, where they learned about the technology from long-time plug-in drivers in a relaxed atmosphere.
“I got to look at and test-drive a broad spectrum of electric vehicles without any car dealership pressure,” said Peggy Vadillo Orenstein, a public health analyst at UCLA, where she attended a 2014 event. “I was able to compare different vehicles at the same time. I ended up buying a Ford Fusion Energi 2015. I love the car! I’ve owned BMWs and my last car was an Audi Q5. Nothing beats electric!”
As the largest U.S. NDEW event, today’s event furthers the City of Los Angeles’ goal of encouraging electric vehicle use as outlined in Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn. NDEW LA will also highlight what California and Los Angeles are doing to lead the way in EV infrastructure and EV purchases, including municipal fleets, as well as making EVs accessible and affordable for low-income communities.
NDEW, in its fifth year, evolved from the idea that the best way to convert gas vehicle drivers is to have EV owners coordinate ride-and-drives in clean, quiet and powerful plug-in vehicles. Ride-and-drive based events like NDEW showcase the cost-savings, clean-air benefits and fun of plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and more. National organizers Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association team up with local groups to organize events like this one across the country, which typically feature all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars from every automaker on the market.
More information and photos of past National Drive Electric Week events are available at driveelectricweek.org.
About Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)
LADWP is the nation’s largest municipal utility, having provided reliable water and power to Los Angeles residents and businesses for over 100 years. LADWP’s power system supplies more than 25 million megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity a year for the City of Los Angeles’ 1.4 million residential and business customers. LADWP’s water system serves a population of 3.9 million people within 473 square miles by delivering 191 billion gallons of water to 674,000 residential and business water service connections annually.www.ladwp.com. The utility offers EV charger rebate programs, and provide EV infrastructure across Los Angeles.
About Plug In America
Plug In America, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can too. www.pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut oil consumption. Sierra Club is proud to have been one of the three national groups organizing National Drive Electric Week since its inception in 2011. www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.
About the Electric Auto Association
The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.